(Photo: Mark Mainz/Getty Images for DPA)
Born in San Francisco and raised in Los Angeles Golden Brooks is quite jack of all trades. Having excelled at dance, figure skating, ballet and jazz as a youth, Brooks left L.A. to return to the Bay Area for college at UC Berkeley and then to New York for her master’s at Sarah Lawrence College. After college, she landed her first big on-camera gig with a guest spot on Nickelodeon’s The Adventures of Pete & Pete, but she definitely wasn’t done there. She would go on to appear in several TV shows and low-budget flicks up until and during her time playing Maya Wilkes on the popular TV series Girlfriends. Recently, Brooks had her first child, Dakota Tao Brooks-Woodside, with her longtime boyfriend and fellow actor D.B. Woodside. In her time off the screen, she volunteers with the Pediatric AIDS Foundation and AIDS Project Los Angeles.